IGF 2009 finalists named

PixelJunk Eden, The Maw among this year's crop of honored indie-gaming efforts; winners to be named in March.

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One of the major industry trends during the last few years has been the explosion of high-profile indie game development. The annual Independent Games Festival competition has been chronicling this explosion over the years, honoring a number of indie hits that would go on to wider success. The list of well-known IGF honorees (and their subsequent success) seems to grow ever longer, boasting acclaimed games such as Braid, World of Goo, N+, Desktop Tower Defense, Castle Crashers, Darwinia, Everyday Shooter, and the predecessor to Portal, Narbacular Drop.

The IGF added to that list today with the announcement of the finalists in its 2009 competition. Some of the honorees already have a bit of notoriety, with Q Games' abstract action game PixelJunk Eden released in July as a downloadable PlayStation 3 game, and Twisted Pixel's Xbox 360 game The Maw named as one of the Penny Arcade Expo's PAX 10 last year.

This year's IGF competition is the biggest ever, boasting 226 entrants. Almost $50,000 will be doled out to winners, with the Seamus McNally Grand Prize award netting the developer $25,000. However, it may be some time before gamers get to see some of these entrants in finished form. Last year's Grand Prize winner, Crayon Physics Deluxe, is scheduled to see its full PC release on the game's official Web site today.

The winners of the 2009 IGF competition will be announced on March 25 in San Francisco alongside the Game Developers Choice Awards. As in years past, both award shows will be featured parts of the Game Developers Conference. The full list of award categories and finalists follows below. For more on the finalists, visit the official IGF Web site.

Seamus McNally Grand Prize:
Blueberry Garden (Erik Svedang)
Osmos (Hemisphere Games)
Carneyvale Showtime (Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab)
Night Game (Nicalis)
Dyson (Rudolf Kremers/Alex May)

Excellence in Visual Art:
Zeno Clash (ACE Team)
PixelJunk Eden (Q-Games)
Machinarium (Amanita Design)
Cletus Clay (TunaSnax)
Feist (Filthy Grip)

Excellence in Audio:
Musaic (KranX Productions)
Blueberry Garden (Erik Svedang)
BrainPipe (Digital Eel)
PixelJunk Eden (Q-Games)
Retro/Grade (24 Caret Games)

Excellence in Design:
Retro/Grade (24 Caret Games)
Snapshot (Six AM)
Night Game (Nicalis)
Musaic (KranX Productions)
Osmos (Hemisphere Games)

Innovation Award:
Between (Jason Rohrer)
Mightier (Ratloop)
The Graveyard (Tale Of Tales)
Coil (From The Depths)
You Have To Burn The Rope (Mazapan)

Technical Excellence:
PixelJunk Eden (Q-Games)
Cortex Command (Data Realms)
Osmos (Hemisphere Games)
The Maw (Twisted Pixel Games)
Incredibots (Grubby Games)

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